Angled Bar, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 8 7/8 x 6 1/2 in.
I feel as though I put umpteen layers of paint on this piece, trying to get to a color that worked: I wanted it somewhat dark in value, but at the same time intense in color. Because it's a cool blue-green, it wasn't easy. I often had to go back to a much lighter color, then layer a darker one over it in order to achieve the intensity I wanted. Then there was the triangle of another color at the upper right: it went through many iterations, from a darker hue of the main color, to an almost black, like the shadow at the lower left, to different blues. I settled on a blue that had a green cast to it. The black shape adds another element that balances the deep dark below it. I painted that dark using layers of color––ultramarine blue, phthalo green, quindo red––and because egg tempera is translucent, the layering of colors can result in a near black, a color that is deeper than a straight black would be. This painting is the second in a group of four vertical images that are primarily one color. You can see the first one, Tall Red, here.
Angled Bar detail